Looking Back, Looking Forward

The end of the year is one of those natural times of reflection: what did I do? Did I do what I wanted to do? Did I make any effort at those resolutions from last year? What about next year?

A couple of years ago, I happened upon this e-book about finding direction, and how to go about building the life you want. The author was geared toward travel, but one of the ideas he presented stuck with me. It was this: New Year’s resolutions never work. They’re usually too vague, too long of a time frame, and usually don’t reflect growth toward the kind of person you want to be. To that end, the author suggested doing quarterly goals. One to three goals, broken down by category (career, physical, creative, emotional/spiritual, etc). These goals are smaller, and given the shorter timeframe, usually more achievable. Then, at the end of the quarter, you review the goals and set new ones.

I did this during the last part of 2010, 2011, and the first part of 2012, and, as a list person, I liked it. My inner list fiend was quite satisfied by scratching off things like “Save $1000” and “Make 3 garments to wear”, and the results reflected things that I wanted to be doing. When I found out I was moving to Australia, my lists went pretty much out the window, and I didn’t really develop a new one when I got here, but now that I more or less have my feet under me, I feel like I can get back to my routine a bit more. So, without further ado, here’s the goal list for the first quarter of 2013 (Jan-Mar):


1. Get the FIS out into the field (this needs to happen in Jan.-early Feb.)
2. Finish proposal/lit review (I think the deadline for this is late Feb.)
3. Learn Python
4. Finish Carbon Capture Paper (needs to happen in Jan.)

A lot of front-heavy deadlines. If March is fairly open, I think I’d be fine with that. Other things will probably come along and be added to this list.


1. Keep up the gym routine
2. Get (back) on Primal/Paleo/zero carb diet
3. Lose 5 kg.

I expect number 3 to be a natural consequence of #s 1 and 2.


1. Learn 3 songs on the guitar well enough that I’d be willing to play them outside my bedroom.
2. Re-learn the drum solo I learned in Emily’s class. Find a hafla or dance festival and perform it. (There’s one in May I have my eye on so far)
3. Learn the first half of Brahms Requiem. (since I’m performing in ChorusOz, this has to be done)

Social/Emotional/Mental Balance:

1. Go on 3 dates.
2. Do yoga 1x a week.
3. Get back on a budget.

The first might be amended to “go on 3 dates with the same person”, since it’s a lot easier to find people to date around here. Still, it’s good to have the reminder to get out and socialise and build a network of friends. And who knows, if I’m swept off my feet in the next 3 months, I can always pull it off the list. As far as the last item goes, I used to be fairly strict about my budget, and I fell out of the habit when I moved here. But I’ve learned what things cost, and what I want to spend my money on, so I need to get back to planning again.

And there you have it, everyone–my plan for the first quarter of 2013! What’s on your to-do list?

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